In­door track and field ath­letes headed to states

Lackey girls, McDonough boys, West­lake boys fa­vored

Maryland Independent - - Front Page - By TED BLACK tblack@somd­news.com

For nu­mer­ous ath­letes from the var­i­ous South­ern Mary­land Ath­letic Con­fer­ence schools who earned a berth in Mon­day and Tues­day’s events at the Prince Ge­orge’s Sports & Learn­ing Com- plex in Landover, the state in­door track and field cham­pi­onships will mark the cul­mi­na­tion of one sea­son and the spring- board to an­other.

From a team per­spec- tive on Mon­day in the Class 1A and 2A state cham­pi­onships, fe­male ath­letes from Lackey High School and boys run­ners from West­lake and McDonough will be among se­ri­ous con­tenders for state crowns. The Lackey girls, West­lake boys and McDonough boys are viewed as pro­hib­i­tive fa­vorites to con­tinue their in­door dom- inance this win­ter, as is one tal­ented fe­male run­ner from Patux­ent.

In the re­cent 2A East Re­gion cham­pi­onships at the P.G. Com­plex, the Lackey girls and West­lake boys recorded com­fort­able vic­to­ries. Lackey se­nior Syd­ney Wil­liams and ju­nior team­mate Do­minique Jef­fery form a gen­uine one-two punch for the Charg­ers, while the West­lake’s Will Moten, To­bias Hur­ley, Thomas Al­corn, Jay Hall and Justin McIn­tyre could claim in­di­vid­ual ti­tles and com- bine for re­lay scores as well.

Moten, Hur­ley, Al­corn and McIn­tyre have been nearly dom­i­nant in vari- ous sprints and have also com­bined for suc­cess on re­lays, while Hall ar­rives off vic­to­ries in both the 1,600- and 3,200-me­ter runs and will be in con­ten- tion for both ti­tles again on Mon­day.

“We push each other so much to keep im­prov­ing,” Al­corn said. “Now we know if we keep get­ting bet­ter, the team ti­tles will come. Now it’s all about be­ing ready for states. This is our last chance to get an­other in­door ti­tle. We’re all ex­cited about the out­door sea­son, but we have an­other chance to get an in­door ti­tle. Our re­lays have been re­ally good all sea­son. So we’ll see what we can do.”

Lackey’s girls have made quick work of their op­po­si­tion through­out the SMAC slate and into the re­gional cham­pion- ships. Jef­fery com­pleted a rare triple by tak­ing the 55, 300 and 500, while Wil- liams bested team­mate Nikiya Mitchell to take the 55 hur­dles. Wil­liams had also been sec­ond to Jef­fery in the 300.

“The re­gion meet re­ally helped get me pre­pared for states,” Jef­fery said af­ter her triple at re­gion- als. “I was look­ing to drop time in all three events. We have a lot of re­ally good girls on this team. It’s fun be­ing around such a re­ally fast group of girls.”

Patux­ent se­nior Hay­ley Jack­son is ex­pected to con­tinue her dom­i­nance in the 800 and 1,600. At the 2A East Re­gion cham­pi­onships, Jack­son sim­ply toyed with her foes in both events, tak­ing the 1,600 with a breath­tak­ing move on the bell lap in which she punc­tu­ated her handy score by lap­ping nearly one-half of her foes.

Af­ter be­ing nearly lapped by Jack­son in the 1,600 while fin­ish­ing sec­ond, Calvert sopho­more Syd­ney Friedel came back to win the 3,200 by more than 25 sec­onds. Lackey ju­nior Court­ney Hawkins won the girls shot put by nearly five feet and will be among the se­ri­ous con­tenders for the state ti­tle.

While McDonough may

be the small­est school in SMAC, the Rams boys came up big at the 1A East Re­gion cham­pi­onships.

Rams se­niors Ri­cardo Oliva and Brant But­ler and ju­niors Hezikiah Hawkins and Avaughn Hol­ley com­bined to the win the 800 re­lay. Haw- kins also at­tained in­di­vid­ual ti­tles in the 300 and 55 with Oliva and Hol­ley sec­ond, re­spec­tively, in those events. But­ler won the 55 hur­dles, Hol­ley won the long jump and team­mate Jonathan Thomp­son cap­tured the shot put.

North­ern girls seek­ing state ti­tle in 3A

On Tues­day af­ter­noon at the P.G. Com­plex, the Pa- tri­ots girls team will seek the 3A state crown, while other SMAC ath­letes will com­pete for in­di­vid­ual hon­ors in the 3A and 4A state cham­pi­onships.

In the 3A East Re­gion cham­pi­onships at the Bal­ti­more Ar­mory, the North­ern girls edged Mt. He­bron of Howard County by 1.5 points to take the re­gion crown. The Pa­tri­ots per­formed well in var­i­ous re­lays, but the trio of Molly Bar­rick, Abby Sweeney and Clau­dia Dolan com­pleted a clean sweep of the top three spots in the 3,200.

“It’s great be­ing a part of a team with so many fast girls,” Sweeney said. “We al­ways push each other to keep get­ting bet- ter in ev­ery prac­tice and in ev­ery meet. We have girls that are good in the sprints and oth­ers that are good in the longer dis­tances and we have some very good re­lays. We’re all ex­cited about be­ing able to com­pete for a state ti­tle next week.”

Great Mills se­nior An­nie Imhof prepped for the state cham­pi­onships by ral­ly­ing from last in the bell lap to cap­ture the 800 in the 3A East Re­gion meet. Imhof had fin­ished sec­ond to Bar­rick in the 1,600 and was fourth in the 3,200, but her prima- ry tar­get all win­ter has been the 800.

“It will be much bet­ter back at Sport­splex,” said Imhof, who is headed to the U.S. Naval Academy this sum­mer. “At the re­gional meet, I wasn’t re­ally con­cerned about my times. I was just fo­cused on plac­ing. It seems like the times are about one sec­ond slower [at the Ar- mory] for ev­ery 100 me­ters. I have re­ally been fo­cus­ing mainly on the 800. Then I will start pre­par­ing for the out­door sea­son.”

Great Mills Kiara Deloatch was the re­gion run­ner-up in the 55 hur- dles, while the Leonard- town quar­tet of Liana Foian­ini, Emily Sny­der, Kristina Kowa­lik and Kar­son Har­ris won the 3,200 re­lay at the 4A East Re­gion meet. Raiders se­nior Ethan Aus won the re­gion ti­tle in the shot put, while Hunt­ing­town’s Christo­pher Alexy claimed the shot put ti­tle at the 3A East meet.

The North­ern boys are led by se­nior Char­lie Sweeney who cap­tured the 1,600 and the 3,200 at the 3A East meet and will be among the seri- ous con­tenders in both events at states. Sweeney, whose younger sis­ter Abby is a key com­po­nent of the Pa­tri­ots girls squad, will be joined in both events by team­mate Greg Old­ham, who was sec­ond in the 3,200 and third in the 1,600.

“It’s a lot tougher run­ning over the floor at the Ar­mory,” Sweeney said. “It’s just a harder floor and you re­ally have to stay cau­tious on the turns. It will be nice to get back over to Sport­splex. That’s re­ally been our home track now for a while, so we’re very fa­mil­iar with run­ning there and it’s not as dif­fi­cult to get around.”

North Point se­nior Rachel Nueslein will also seek state ti­tles in two dis­tance events on Tues­day. The Ea­gles run­ner cap­tured the 4A East ti­tle in the 3,200 and was sec­ond in the 1,600.

PHOTO BY CRIAG AMOSS

Lackey High School se­nior Syd­ney Wil­liams will be among the fa­vorites to cap­ture the 55-me­ter hur- dles at the Class 2A state in­door track and field cham­pi­onships Mon­day at the Prince Ge­orge’s Sports & Learn­ing Com­plex in Landover.

PHOTO BY BRAN­DON MILES West­lake High School se­nior Thomas Al­corn will play a key role in the Wolver­ines’ po­ten­tial to win the Class 2A state in­door track and field cham­pi­onships ti­tle Mon­day at the Prince Ge­orge’s Sports & Learn­ing Com­plex in Landover.

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